Drain cover thefts across Hampshire cost council more than £100,000
A SPATE of drain cover thefts across parts of Hampshire have cost the council more than £100,000 for replacements.
A total of 68 drain covers over 28 roads in the south of the county, including in Gosport and Fareham, have been stolen in recent weeks – leaving openings in the road which could cause a potential hazard to drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.
Councillor Rob Humby, transport boss at Hampshire County Council, said: ‘I urge all road users to take extra care on the roads at this time while we do all we can to make the affected areas safe as quickly as possible.
‘As soon as we became aware of the issue following reports from the police, highways teams have been out on the road network, to make safe the affected sites with cones and/or barriers and assess the type of replacement drain covers needed so new ones can be sourced and ordered. Our teams are also exploring the availability of replacement items which are made from innovative composite alternatives that have no scrap value, but these are unlikely to be suitable for all sites and they are only intended as a temporary fix.
‘Whoever is taking these drain covers is putting road users’ safety at risk and I remain hopeful that the Police will be successful in quickly catching those responsible. I am aware that their investigations are ongoing. If anyone sees anything suspicious, please report it to the Police straight away.’
So far the council has spent more than £100,000 making affected areas safe and sourcing replacement drain covers.
As previously reported, it was thought the issue could be the result of scrap metal thieves.
If anyone has seen anything suspicious or who has information about the stolen drain covers, report it via Hampshire police’s online reporting system: hampshire.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime.
Affected roads are:
Bell Davies Road
Reading Room Lane